South Africa shuts rail export line over train derailment

South Africa shuts rail export line over train derailment
Illustrative picture. PHOTO CREDIT: Mining Mayhem

South Africa’s Transnet said on Thursday that a 200-wagon coal train derailed, shutting down the rail line that links mines to the Richards Bay export terminal.

The state-run company said the crew were unhurt in the incident in which 51 wagons derailed.

“The export line has been closed to allow engineers and maintenance crew to re-rail the wagons and repair the line. The closure will impact all commodities that are transported on the line, like coal and chrome,” Transnet’s freight rail unit said in a statement.

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South African coal loadings this month are on course to be their highest since at least 2015, buoyed by strong demand in Asia.

South Africa has loaded 7.95 million tonnes of coal in December, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, up from 5.3 million in November and 6.5 million a year earlier.

“There is no estimated time of reopening at this stage but the intention is to open the one line that was not badly damaged as soon as possible so as to allow the flow of trains,” Transnet said.